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A cool and cloudy spring day could not dampen the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences convocation ceremony on Friday, May 24th, 2013.

convocationThis year we had 79 undergraduates in our ATM, ENS, MAR, and MVB majors and a total of 22 graduates in the MA, MS and PhD program. The 2013 convocation ceremony began with a slideshow of its graduating class at the Student Activities Center Auditorium on Main Campus. At 8:30 a.m., the SoMAS convocation ceremony began with Dean Minghua Zhang entering the auditorium with faculty advisors followed by undergraduates who have applied to graduate school receiving one of the four undergraduate degrees offered by SoMAS. Following directly behind the undergraduates were the graduate students with their advisors in the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs.

The graduates were joined by their fellow students, SoMAS faculty, and a large contingent of family members who had come to see their loved ones reach a milestone in their lives. Dean Zhang welcomed the graduates and their families with opening remarks, encouraging graduates, as they moved forward in life and into their careers, to find a niche that provides the opportunity to do things they truly enjoy. Thereupon, the undergraduates were presented their degrees.

Following the awarding of the undergraduate degrees, the Stony Brook Alumni Association Dean’s Choice Awards was presented by Mr. Robert Stafford, Vice President of the Alumni Association. Recipients of the Dean’s Choice Awards are students in each of our majors with the top GPA. They include Warren Porter (ATM), Marouh Hussein and Alexandra Santiago (ENS), Kaitlyn Smith (MAR), and Brian Gallagher (MVB). Brian Gallagher was also recognized for Undergraduate Honors having received a 4.0 GPA. All other honors were asked to stand and be recognized.

Dr. Sultan Hameed presented the Petra M. Udelhofen Memorial Scholarship Award to Michael Colbert.
Dr. Qingzhi Zhu presented the first Nuria Protopopescu Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching. Marianne McNamara, recipient of the award, was unable to be present. Nuria Protopopescu was a Ph.D. student in Marine Geochemistry at the SoMAS from 2005 to 2012. The Nuria Protopopescu Memorial Teaching Award was created to honor Nuria by recognizing outstanding teaching by a SoMAS graduate student. Beginning this year, it will be awarded annually to a SoMAS graduate student for excellence in teaching, innovation in instruction, and dedication to their students. Mrs. Orel Protopopescu was asked to the stage and was presented with flowers. A plaque listing recipients of the award will be displayed in the hallway of SoMAS.

Dr. Carl Safina offered the Commencement Address titled, “How to be important” which offers simple steps to succeeding.

Following the Commencement Address, Master’s Degrees and Doctorates were presented by Dr. Anne McElroy along with the Best Thesis/Dissertation Award. The Best Thesis award was won by Martha Divver and the Best Dissertation award by Owen Doherty.
After brief closing remarks, all were off to join the thousands of others at the main University convocation.
The faculty, staff, and students of SoMAS salute the 2013 graduates and the families and friends who have supported them along the way. We wish them well and hope they will stay in touch.

Pictures from the 2013 SoMAS Convocation are available in the Galleries: SoMAS Convocation 2013

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